OLOL/St. Joseph Women’s Club is holding their annual Christmas Bazaar on
Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 9 AM-2 PM in their Parish Hall located
on Route 4, Northwood, NH (next to the Northwood Town Hall). There will
be a white elephant table, baked table with our famous cookie walk,
knitted goods, books and puzzles. There will also be raffles and a tasty
Buffalo Trading Post in Center Barnstead, NH is having their Annual
Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday, November 1, 2014. One of the Main
Events this year will be the “ Pie in the face” pie toss! Barnstead
Police Chief Joseph McDowell will be the “Pie in the Face Target” for
this event. All the proceeds raised will be divided equally and donated
to the Barnstead Food Pantry & the Barnstead Youth Baseball Association!
Please come and have a Fun-filled day and help us raise much needed
funds for both of these organizations. Many Thanks to all for your
support and patronage as White Buffalo Trading Post celebrates another
great year !
Belknap County Commissioners Update
to Mr. Hunter Taylor’s story
The Belknap County Commissioners
There are a
lot of half-truths, stories and outright fabrications being published
about the current governmental crisis in Belknap County. Many so called
experts, armchair observers and political commentators are coming out of
the woodwork to pile on and create more confusion, and foster ill will
for their own purposes. The fact that the local newspapers publish these
stories and opinions, without regard to their truthfulness, does not
make them true.
you should know: The crisis discussed in Mr. Taylor’s letter was
created when the Executive Committee of the Belknap County Delegation.
Representative Frank Tilton, the chairman of the executive committee,
refused a timely meeting with the Commissioners to address transfer
requests. Representative Tilton was well aware that the Commissioners
had requested a date for a meeting that they could all attend. Any
statement to the contrary is simply not true. Rep Tilton likes to
convene meetings without regard to any one’s schedule but his own. The
Commissioners request was denied, as most are. Representative Tilton
and his committee held the meeting, knowing the Commissioners would not
be present, just so they could be criticized openly. A future date was
not even set at that time.
waiting for the executive committee to meet and discuss transfers, the
county department heads were prevented from making life safety purchases
(medical needs of inmates and the care of nursing home residents). This
was considered a crisis by the Commissioners and administrators. The
total of all transfers necessary to get through the year was calculated
to be in excess of $600,000. When asked to add the most urgent line
item transfers being sought, the total came to $455,000. The dollar
amounts were not the issue at hand, the bookkeeping entries are now what
dictates if needs are met or not. The $10,000 turned out to be enough
(after a half hour of publicly berating the staff) to provide for
prescription medications for inmates over a weekend, to suggest that
$10,000.00 was all that was really needed is disingenuous at best.
is currently under court order to stop over expending on an individual
line item basis. What this means is that the day to day operations of
the county, traditionally the responsibility of the elected County
Commissioners, is now in the hands of Mr. Tilton and his group. This is
not the way any other governmental agency operates. The legislative
body does not have line item control for good reason; it’s impossible to
react to changing situations the way a governing body is required to.
Do you go back to a Town Meeting if you need to use the office supply
money for snow plow repair? When you add to that challenge, a
legislative body that is too busy to deal with the needs of the county
(or are they just unwilling?) things start becoming chaotic and
dangerous. Such is the current state of affairs in Belknap County.
health insurance company returned premiums a choice was offered to every
municipality; a check or a “Contribution Holiday”. Belknap County
eventually chose the contribution holiday, which was reflected as a
discount on the invoice. This came at just the right time to allow the
county to fund its contractual health care obligations through the end
of the year without violating the court order or violating the labor
contracts we have with our employees. The Executive Committee seems to
be angry because the county is able to continue operating without
compromising the budget. This issue was no secret. A very public
lawsuit caused the return and within a week of the County receiving its
portion, the Executive Committee was already angry and flinging
accusations of wrongdoing.
with Mr. Taylor’s demonstration of line item control, let’s say the
manager of a department realizes that he won’t need to spend as much
money on payroll as he thought (someone retired), but a vehicle broke
down and there’s not enough left in that line item to pay the bill.
Since the recent court order, the manager cannot repair the vehicle
until Rep Tilton convenes a meeting, berates the staff for failing to
predict all of this 18 months ago, accuses the commissioners of keeping
it secret, and then, in good faith, approves an interdepartmental line
item transfer. Don’t forget that we’re not talking about spending more
money, just spending the money where it is most needed. Here’s another
example; a water pipe bursts in the basement of the court house. The
maintenance & repair line item is already spent but there’s a surplus in
the janitorial supplies line item. While the water runs, the department
manager has to request a transfer. Rep Tilton will schedule a meeting
(if he’s not angry about something else), and the Executive Committee
will consider the issue. Hopefully, they’ll agree that it makes sense
to spend the money on something other than its intended plan under
certain circumstances, dictated by the daily changes that occur in the
operation of any business. Only then can a plumber be called. As
anyone inclined to look can see, this kind of micromanagement was never
intended to be the way county government should be run, and despite what
Mr. Tilton or anyone else might say, this is not the way it ever was.
If you want
to know what’s happening at the county on a daily basis, you need to
participate more often than once a month. You also need to have
dialogue - where one person talks and the other listens, then you switch
roles. This way you learn that sometimes you don’t have all the
information. So, did the Commission plan to use this contribution
holiday as an opportunity to avoid violating the court order, the labor
contracts, and to avoid spending more than the Delegation voted…YES,
that was the plan. (We have since decided to ask the Executive
Committee to do the right thing and make transfers.) That is our job;
to exercise our managerial rights to facilitate the operation of the
County. The accounting practices of the County are open and transparent
to anyone who cares to take a look. There are no secrets, no schemes,
or slight of hands. The Commissioners meet in public every other
Wednesday evening. The Administrative staff is available to answer
questions, explain reports, or talk about the operation at any time.
You are welcome to call, email, or stop by.
Mr. Taylor’s respect issues; the Commissioners and the Executive
Committee are equals. Both bodies are made up of elected officials with
separate and distinct functions. One does not lord over the other. They
have separate responsibilities; neither has oversight responsibility
over the other. The Executive Committee should not attempt to govern
the organization, as they are now doing, and the Commissioners cannot
raise and appropriate taxes. The current attempts at micromanagement
render the operation of an otherwise efficient and effective operation
chaotic, cumbersome and dangerously ineffective.
Letter To The Editor
for Representative Guy Comtois
writing to give my wholehearted endorsement for Rep. Guy Comtois of
Center Barnstead, your current state representative and candidate for
re-election on November 4th.
I met Guy
when he was first elected to the House of Representatives and assigned
to my committee – Environment & Agriculture. As its Chair, I was
immediately impressed with Guy’s intelligence, enthusiasm, and knowledge
of the agricultural issues with which we were dealing. And for good
reason - Guy and his wife Barbara are farmers.
Comtois uses his knowledge of agriculture to help other small farmers in
the state, working tirelessly to steer them through the legislative
process. Guy has sponsored bills that removed restrictions on sale of
small quantities of prepared foods from the farm direct to the customer
without the need for a commercial kitchen, which allowed these small
farm families to make up to $20,000 additional per year. He was also
instrumental in getting HB 608 passed this year – enabling farmers who
process their own chickens to sell directly to restaurants without cost
prohibitive USDA inspection. Guy is a true champion of the New
Rep. Comtois in the House. Please support Guy and vote on Tuesday,
November 4th so he can continue to support local farms and local food in
Member and Former Chair
& Agriculture Committee
NH House of
Letter To The Editor
the pleasure of working with Guy Comtois on both State and Belknap
County business during the past biennium, I wholeheartedly recommend him
to voters in Barnstead Guy is well-versed in both the
fundamentals and nuances of government and provides stellar constituent
As a small
business owner with a farm, it is a strong sense of duty that calls Guy
to service. He is experienced, dedicated and deserving of your vote on
Letter To The Editor
My name is
Bruce Marriott and I’m running for Barnstead’s State Representative.
I’ve lived in Barnstead for 22 years and am an elected Library Trustee.
I believe the representative for Barnstead should listen to and serve
the needs of all residents, Republican or Democrat. If elected I would
hold regular meetings to keep residents informed, and listen to any
suggestions or concerns.
opponent, Guy Comtois, and I have very different philosophies on the
role of government. He believes the less government the better. I
believe there’s a legitimate and necessary role for government in
providing fire and safety protection, safe roads and education for
everyone. It protects our environment, insures public health, and
assists our most vulnerable residents. These are the things that define
a community. Representative Comtois believes that with limited
government, private enterprise will run things more efficiently. Some of
the social service networks do a wonderful job, but they work in
cooperation with government not in place of it. With few exceptions, big
business seems more interested in profit than service.
In 2010 New
Hampshire tried out this idea of limiting the role of government. Led by
Speaker O’Brien, drastic cuts for many necessary services were enacted.
Representative Comptois embraced O’Brien’s agenda which hurt working
families by shifting the burden to homeowners. We now see increased
property taxes, and lower income families are hit the hardest.
I have visited voters, many have expressed disgust that republicans and
democrats cannot work together to get things. Each party thinks it has
THE solution. As a result no one looks for common ground that would
enable compromise. If I am elected, I pledge to start with an open mind
and work with whomever is interested in solving the issues facing New
Hampshire towns and cities.
Oscar Foss Memorial Library News
Foss Memorial Library would like to invite the children and families of
Barnstead to our annual “Fancy Nancy Tea Party” on Saturday, November
8th at 10:00am. Everyone should bring their favorite teacup and of
course dressing-up in your ‘Fancy Nancy finest’ is always the best part!
A light snack and beverages will be provided by the library, as well as
some other fabulous fun and surprises!! Our seating is limited, so
please call 269-3900 or come by the circulation desk to reserve your
at the OFML would like to invite all community members to stop by the
library to check out what we have to offer when you come out to vote on
Tuesday, November 4th. The library will be closed on Tuesday, November
11th in observance of Veterans Day.
the library (269-3900) or visit our website (oscarfoss.org) for more
information about these or any of our other programs or events. There is
always something happening at the Oscar Foss Memorial Library! Library
Hours are: Monday; 2pm-8pm, Tuesday & Wednesday; 10am-5pm, Thursday;
5pm-8pm, Friday; 2pm-5pm, Saturday; 9am-Noon.
Pumpkin ‘N’ Pine Country Fair
Saturday, November 1 from 9 to 2 for a charming, country church fair.
There will be fun, food, and treasures at the Congregational Church of
North Barnstead, located at 504 North Barnstead Road in Center
Barnstead. Check off folks on your holiday list by choosing from an
array of unique gifts, then stop with your friends for a delicious lunch
in the Schoolhouse Café.
has many favorite features including a Kitchen Table replete with baked
goods, jams, jellies, relishes and pickles as well as appealing gift
items for the cook in your life. Find something for the nature-lover on
the Birds and Bloom Table, and don’t forget to check out the holiday
decorations, crafts, collectibles and handmade items from
Ghana—something for everyone on your list.
Be sure to
put in your bids for really special items featured in the huge Silent
Auction which is the hallmark of the fair. You will find items such as:
a braided rug from Holmes Carpet; a contemporary table setting for 4; a
bird house fit for a king; antique jars and mug; a green pottery bowl
from Salty Dog Pottery plus so much more.
feature this year is the raffle of a queen-sized quilt made by the
members of the Women’s Fellowship. Be sure to buy a book of tickets and
maybe you will be the lucky winner! The drawing will be held at the
church on Sunday, December 14 just in time for Christmas.
Pumpkin ‘n’ Pine Fair signs from Route 28 to the scene of the action and
don’t miss this very special event to kick off the holiday season. See
you at the fair
Letter To The Editor
Leonard, our candidate for NH Senate, has been out talking to neighbors
and potential constituents in Rochester, Farmington, Gilmanton, Alton,
New Durham and Barnstead. He’s listening to our stories and finding out
what is important to us. As a resident of New Durham, a pharmacist in
Alton and having lived in Rochester for 26 years, Rich knows our
communities well, and he is determined to listen more and learn more
about what the people of this district need to build strong families and
move New Hampshire forward.
this with Sam Cataldo, our incumbent state senator. While Sam accepts
phone calls and emails from constituents, he appears not to be
listening. For every issue about which I contacted Sam, he voted the
wrong way, yielding to moneyed interests over New Hampshire families.
Sam did agree to meet with his constituents here in Barnstead, but he
followed up that meeting with votes that disregarded all that we had
brought to his attention. We asked Sam to talk to his Farmington
neighbors who work full-time but have no health insurance. When we
followed up that request with emails asking about these conversations,
he failed to respond. Needless-to-say Sam voted against Medicaid
Leonard knows from personal experience what families need to be strong
and secure, and he continues to take every possible opportunity to
listen to the people of his district. If you aren’t fortunate enough to
have conversation with Rich as he knocks on doors, you will assuredly be
heard if he is elected.
I urge you
to cast your ballot on November 4th for Rich Leonard. He will work for
us, not for the moneyed interests that pull Sam Cataldo’s puppet
strings. It’s time for a change in Senate District 6.
Laker’s Social Club Annual Harvest Competition
Pictured above are the winners: Ann Shea,
Nora Zuluaga, Jon Martin, and Arlene Gilmore.
Laker’s Social Club had their annual harvest competition for the best
soup, stew, or chowda. There were 18 members attending the
event all having a tasting good time sampling the 8 various entries.
The entries were: Seafood Chowda, Corn Chowda, Hearty Italian Sausage
soup, Hefty Beef stew, Turkey noodle soup, Sancocho(Colombian) soup,
Tomato Basil Bisque, and Macaroni tomato beef soup. The prize winners
ITALIAN SAUSAGE SOUP cooked by Ann Shea. 2nd: SANCOCHO SOUP
(Colombian),cooked by Nora Zuluaga 3rd. tied: TOMATO BISQUE, cooked by
Jon Martin and other tied 3rd place winner was Arlene Gilmore with a
SEAFOOD CHOWDA. Some members stayed to play Pokeno with Claire Moody as
the Cover-all winner.
will be a Harvest pot luck Brunch on Sunday, November 9th at 11:00
o’clock in the Lodge. Those wanting to participate please bring
something for the meal. Please call Ann Shea at 393-7233 if you plan
to attend. Afterwards those who have reserved their tickets will attend
the musical production of SOUTH PACIFIC at the Scenic Theatre presented
by the Pittsfield Players.
Letter To The Editor
employer I have always hired people who are capable of independent
analysis and are willing to make intelligent decisions based on facts.
That’s why I consider politicians who rigidly adhere to any particular
philosophy or party dogma as being stupid and not deserving of my vote.
A case in point are the politicians who promise they will not vote for
any new tax nor tax increase under any circumstances.
lives in Barnstead, Pittsfield or the northern part of Chichester knows
the road conditions on Route 28 near the Blue Seal store. The road
topping has remained totally deteriorated for almost 2 years, causing
drivers to swerve and often drive on the side of the road to avoid
damage to their vehicle. The reason this unsafe condition is allowed to
exist is because one party continues to starve the state highway
department of funds to maintain our roads and bridges. This blanket
anti-tax pledge, on both a national and local level is also the reason
that unconscionable cuts have been made to programs that directly harm
us, and doubly so our less fortunate neighbors.
If you want
a non-thinking mouthpiece then buy a puppet (Mortimer Snerd comes to
mind) at a toy store. But if you want responsible representation that
will make intelligent decisions on our behalf then ignore those
advocating rigidity of stance, ignore party labels and vote for a person
who is capable of thought and problem solving.
Letter To The Editor
It has been
my pleasure to get to know Guy Comtois over the past few years. First
as a neighbor and now as a friend. I have found him invigorating to
discuss politics with and feel that I have learned much, as well I have
also come to see things with a different point of view sometimes. I
guess I would simply state myself to be a socially liberal independent,
and have had countless conversations with Guy where I felt listened to,
the exchange being honorable and pleasant.
strongly that Guy truly cares for the hardworking New Hampshire folks
that he represents, with a particular endearment for his local farmer
compatriots. He has worked tirelessly to create legislation that makes
sense for local food and farming. For this I cannot thank him enough.
He is dedicated to preserving the natural heritage of New Hampshire and
has built a life for himself and his family here in Barnstead that is
the epitome of that. His work is not done and I look forward to see
what he may be able to accomplish given another chance at his seat.
understand that there has been, of course usual to political races, a
lot said about Guy’s choices and voting record, I compel those of you
who have questions or reservations to call Guy. Ask him about his
decisions, I have always found him to be forthcoming and easy to talk
to, and he always answers the phone.
Letter to the Editor
Alton citizen told me that they were going to vote for Ray Howard
because he was a conservative and had saved “us” money as a cemetery
I was taken
aback by that comment but then realized that most Alton taxpayers are
probably unaware of the details of the budgets during his tenure.
March, 2010, Ray was one of the trustees, and supported the 2011-2013
budget requests for the cemetery.
year (2011) the proposed cemetery’s budget was $101,656: a 4.6% increase
over the previous year.
town budget increase was 3.1% which included the new position of police
prosecutor. Even with the new position, Ray’s proposal was almost one
and a half times the town’s percent increase!
this “conservative” proposed a 9.5% increase, from $101,656 to $111,340
for our town! This was the same year the selectmen and budget committee
agreed to remove the full time cemetery employee and return the position
to a part time one as had been the practice for SO plus years and a
budget of $50, 732. Ray Howard vehemently fought this change.
So, how can
Ray Howard say that he is a conservative when as a cemetery trustee, he
supported a 4.2% increase and a 9.5% increase in these budgets? In my
mind, actions speak louder than words.
part is that Peter Bolster (who is being labeled as “a spender”) was
selectman at this time and fully supported changing the cemetery budget
to save taxpayers money!
afford this “conservative” as a State Representative with his past